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Szerző: Kertész Dalma
Megjelent: 12 éve

Az interjú angolul - Read the article in English

Young workers from all over the world - Leeamaria Välitalo, a teacher in Finland

- Where are you from and which part of the country do you live in? What is your line of work or are you still studying?

- I'm from Sodankylä. It's a tiny town in North Finland, 130 km north of the polar circle. I moved to Helsinki a few months ago to work as a teacher of Finnish language.

- How is your career progressing? What is your degree in? What school did you go to? What did you want to be when you were a child? Have you managed to realise your dreams or did you just go with the flow?

- I went to the university of Oulu. I have a bachelor degree in Finnish language, but I haven't done my master yet. I have always loved reading and studying, and since childhood I've always wanted to try different kinds of jobs. It was more of a coincidence I ended up studying Finnish. Right now I dedicate most of my time to my work. I hope I can find some time for my master thesis next year.

- What kind of opportunities did you have for continuing your studies? How much of a sacrifice was it for your family to finance your education, did you have to work while studying? How does the higher education system work in your country? Did you have to pay for tuition?

- In Finland there is no tuition fee from kindergarden to universities. Our government provides study grants, housing supplements and guarantees for student loans to all university students. I consider myself really lucky to have been born here. Without a governmentally supported education system a person with my family backround would never have been able to study at university.

Even with study grants most of the students work at weekends and in holidays throughout the year. It's mostly because of the high living expenses in our country. While studying I worked in a bakery and as a substitute teacher. It is not part of Finnish culture that parents give a lot of money to their adult children. My parents helped me at times when I had to buy something more expensive, like winter boots (you need really good ones here), but they have never given me money for my everyday life.

- What are your living conditions like? What is your salary like compare to the average? How much money can you save up? What you are saving for?

- I have just started with my job, so I haven't saved a lot of money. I'm quite satisfied with my salary. It's slightly under the avarage salary, but if I stayed in this job, finished my master and worked a couple of more years, it would be above the avarage. My salary doesn't make me rich but I can pay my rent, eat occasionally out and visit my home town every now and then. And what is important, I can travel - even if not as much I'd love to, but still fairly often.

- Are the people around you happy and content? What kind of hardshipes do you face on an every day bases?

- I believe, most of the people around me are harmonius with the life they have chosen. Being kind of restless is very common among my friends, but I don't find that negative and neither do they, I think. The hardships I face are part of life and should not be seen as something that determines your day.

- How big a problem is unemployment where you are living? What are the problems on the labour market in your country? How does the government support the unemployed? What are the unemployment benefits like? How successful do you think they are?

- Unemployment is a problem in Finland but if you compare our 8 per cent unemployment rate to that of some other countries in Europe, it's not that bad. I'm not an expert, but I'd quess one big problem is the jobs related to forest industry, and Nokia disappearing from Finland. Another thing, closer to my field, is the unemployment of highly educated people.

- Do you like your job? Do you like working in your current enviroment? What's the work morale like? How flexible or strict are your working hours? How many days can you take off a year? What is your relationship like with your colleagues?

- So far I've been loving my job. I teach Finnish to adult immigrants and enjoy the great conversations with my students on everyday basis. My colleques give me great support. They are very professional and motivated. The average number of vacation days is 35 a year and I'll have pretty much the same. I teach five classes every day but for the other work activity (planning the lessons etc.) I make the schedule myself. The flexibility of working hours is important for me.

- What is your day like? What are your most important responsibilities of work? What do you do after work? What do you like doing most in your freetime? Does it cause any problems keeping your work-life balance?

- I go to work around eight and start teaching at 8.30. I teach language and culture until 1 pm. My most important responsibility is to offer my students opportunities to improve their language skills so that they will be able to find a job and work in Finland. After the lessons I usually have some short meetings with my colleagues. Sometimes I go home soon after 1 but sometimes I stay and plan my lessons until late evening.

After work I go swimming, meet my friends, read books, cook and sleep. I tend to work a bit too much, but I'm getting better with that. I do enjoy and need my free time too.

- What are your plans for your future? What are your career prospects? Are there any possibilities for advancement at work? What is your goal in life?

- There's a possibility of advancement at my work. Right now I'm more concentrating on learning and becoming a better teacher. It's hard to imagine myself working the same place or doing the same job for years and years. I don't mind uncertainity. I like to keep my options and just go with the flow. In some things I'm greatly determined but still my life is more about drifting than concentrating on the goal. I'm not looking for a destination. So far it has been easy for me to feel good wherever I have been.

- Could you imagine living abroad? Why would you or wouldn't you leave?

- I could definitely imagine living abroad. I like my country and my life here is good. Still, I like the feeling of adventure and being a bit of an outsider, which comes with moving abroad. Earlier this year I was living in Toronto, Canada. I still miss it, so maybe going back there one day could be a good option.

Cikkünk több oldalas! Lapozzon!
1. oldal - Karrierutak a világ országaiban - egy tanár Finnországban
2. oldal - Az interjú angolul - Read the article in English
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